After spending several fun filled days in Santiago with a very good friend from Canada we walked together to the Metro, reminisced about old times and said our goodbyes. A promise was made to meet again soon, another place and time. It will be a promise kept. I am very fortunate to have good friends.
The day before my friend left I was thrown a huge curve ball, nothing to do with his visit, or my motorcycle adventure, and an issue that is hard and would take long to explain. Suffice it to say that I have some unexpected work in front of me; I will be out $750 at least and it had me feeling down and concerned for most of the day.
If I could teach only one thing to others from my experience on this adventure it would be that there will always be curves in the road, some a more difficult to navigate than others, but they can all be overcome and then the road will be straight, but only for a while. Most problems in life have a method of solving them, a process, steps to follow, the trick is to stay calm, think over the process and act in a rational and well thought out manner. To use and old cliché “Think outside the box” is also very beneficial when dealing with challenges that come our way, not every curve in the road is the same.
This adventure of mine has given me a new set of skills, things I never learned in a classroom or behind the corporate desk. When you have leaky tire in the middle of the Andres there is no manual to give you problem solving instructions. I have also learned that money is often the least important problem solving tool. Kindness, a smile, patience and a willingness to trust in others will get you out of more jams than traditional North American thinking.
I am stuck in a Hostel for another day solving my problem, getting new tires on the bike, fixing my boots, doing some writing and trying not to think too much. There is a sign on the wall downstairs “Spend some time alone everyday”. I have seen this expression before and it is something I believe in, so much for not thinking too much. I also now believe that everyone needs to take a journey like mine, not necessarily by motorcycle for over 50,000 kilometers, but an extended journey outside of your current comfort zone. You will learn more about yourself, life, the world and the people in it then you ever would from watching a documentary or reading a book. You will change, for the better and in ways you never expected. Enlightenment rarely comes on mountain tops, or while standing in front of wonders of the world. It comes while walking down a crowded street looking for ice cream, or in my case a gas station but only after spending some time alone.
I read somewhere an interesting thought “when you are 95% complete you are only 50% of the way there”. The last 5% is the most difficult. I am almost in Ushuaia Argentina, the final goal that I have set for myself on the journey. I know that the road in front of me will be difficult, literately and figuratively, the pavement ends, the temperature will drop significantly, gas stations become even further apart and there will be less people around to help if needed. I will finish, I will reach Ushuaia, and everything is going to work out. I am more determined now than ever.